The latest meeting of the All Wales Blood Service (AWBS) Programme Board was held on Monday 30 March

We were pleased to advise the Board that the Business Justification Case had now been scrutinised by the Welsh Government and there were only a small number of queries that were currently being resolved.

It was also confirmed that approval had been received from the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) on 17 March 2015. Betsi Cadwaladwr University Health Board (BCUHB) had previously approved the AWBS proposal on 14 January 2015. This now puts us in an excellent position to transition from the planning to the implementation phase of the programme.

As we move forward to the next stage, the Programme Board took this opportunity to review its current structure and function. The Board have successfully overseen the development and submission of proposals to create a new AWBS and now need to ensure a smooth and timely implementation phase to enable the new service to commence in May 2016.

The current Board will continue until the final detailed plans are signed off. The Board will then operate as a Stakeholder Assurance Board, with representation from Velindre NHS Trust, the Welsh Blood Service (WBS), NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT), WHSSC, the Welsh Government, Staff Side, BCUHB, Community Health Councils and the Wales Audit Office. They will oversee delivery of the new AWBS according to the Blueprint and will be responsible for monitoring progress against the programme plan to ensure the new service is delivered on time and within budget.

The Board also considered and agreed a revised “collection uplift plan” for blood donation which was based on the input and advice of the NHSBT teams in North Wales. The revised plan utilises their local expertise to identify potential increased collection activity within their current collection plan. WBS welcomed the input of the NHSBT staff in the more detailed plans that are now being drafted.

The Programme Manager shared an update on the work to prepare to establish the proposed WBS premises in Wrexham and the progress in the design of the unit to accommodate the Wrexham team and stockholding unit was noted.

In light of these exciting developments enabling us to swiftly proceed into the implementation phase, the Board agreed that further ‘Meet the Teams’ events need to be arranged as soon as possible. This will enable the staff at WBS to continue to engage with and develop good working relationships with their colleagues from NHSBT in North Wales who will shortly become part of the AWBS team.

We will continue to provide further updates on the All Wales Blood Service as the programme progresses. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact Gavin Bryce, Principal Programme Manager on gavin.bryce@wales.nhs.uk.